Find Your Middle Ground and Yin Workshop

I am so excited to offer this special workshop offering via Zoom! Join me and a group of like minded people yearning for nourishment and peace in these stressful times.

Saturday August 22nd 11.00am-1.00pm EST courtesy of Good Karma Yoga and Barre 

Saturday August 29th 12.30pm-2.30pm EST courtesy of Hummingbird Yoga and Massage 

alone autumn beautiful bloom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s so important for us to take time out and step away from the Yang oriented external world and look inwards for supportive Yin energy. Late Summer is the time of year for bringing nourishment and stability to body, mind and spirit. In traditional Chinese Medicine, the season of Late Summer and the Earth element correlate with nourishing the body, our emotions and our relationships. Mother Earth helps to ground us, she recycles our stuff, she cares unconditionally, and she provides us with the nutrients we need.

Join Val for a special two hour online workshop that brings together compassionate mindfulness, self inquiry and gentle yin yoga.

  • Pause, reflect and journal. Honor where you are and listen inwards for your own intuitive guidance.
  • Explore gentle Yin Yoga postures that open up the Stomach and Spleen energy channels, to bring comfort and wholeness for Late Summer.
  • Release tension, let go and nourish all aspects of your being.

Venue: via Zoom

Cost: $30 Reserve your space ahead of time

Saturday August 22nd 11.00am-1.00pm EST via the website https://goodkarmayoga.us  or MINDBODY at Good Karma Yoga and Barre in Media, PA

Saturday August 29th 12.30pm – 2.30pm EST via the website https://hummingbirdheals.com or the MINDBODY app at Hummingbird Yoga and Massage, Bryn Mawr, PA

Once you have reserved your place, you will receive by email, confirmation and the Zoom link.

Thank you.

 

Choose Yin

save the world

“Our planet will be saved by women not men. Men think they can solve their problems through violence. Jesus, Gandhi and other great souls knew that men have no fear of violence – they’ve been killing since Cain and Abel. So they conquered men by acting like women. They brought yin to the planet, not more yang, and that’s how our planet will be saved.

You can do this too. Choose Yin. Start small. Decide to harm no living thing, including yourself, in thought, word or deed for one hour. Then extend it for two hours. Then perhaps for an entire morning.”

by Sister Mary Ann Kelley.
Taken from Soul To Soul by John Mundahl

This is such a strong statement by Sister Mary Ann.

It isn’t easy to choose yin over yang in a world that dismisses gentleness, and often sees softness as weakness. There is violence everywhere – in a world at war, the news, sports, entertainment and the media. In the words we hear and use, and even in our self talk.

yin tang of nature

Yang is everywhere. Yet as the Yin Yang symbol shows, both are a part of the natural balance of life. We cannot have one over the other. But we can choose which to embrace more in our lives.

I like to think that choosing Yin brings the world back into balance.

Tonight I start a Yin Yoga Teacher Training weekend at Hummingbird Yoga and Massage in Bryn Mawr.

May we all embrace this nourishing peaceful side of ourselves in the learning ahead.

Namaste

Haiku – find your middle ground

space

Photo by Martin Damboldt http://www.pexels.com/

~
Without testing life
We cannot prove anything.
Reach to new limits
~
Live beyond the knowing
Wonder at the unveiling.
Break free from within.
~
Take time for stillness
Seek balance in Yin with Yang.
Find your Middle Ground

 

These words came to me today as I realized that much of our lives are played out in what is known and the expectations of those around us.

How can we live beyond the knowing? By stepping out of our comfort zone and trusting that there are new limits to explore. To embrace the wonder beyond the knowing.

It doesn’t begin with more activity, the setting of goals and targets. These are the Yang aspects of life. It begins with setting aside time to be in stillness. To be with our thoughts and discovering the deeper, hidden parts of our being. This is where Yin resides.

In Yin we find the place beyond thought. The knowing that is within us all, that wants to break free.

Namaste

More Yin and Less Yang

calmness close up closed eyes flora

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

We live in an active, alert and agitated Yang dominated world. I’ve been noticing how people respond differently to this in WordPress.

The Yang aspects of ourselves want to acknowledge and state our position in order to lead or enlighten others. The Yin or feminine aspects of ourselves seek to understand and bring support and help.

Today, we need less charismatic leadership with an authoritarian fix-it attitude, and more understanding and compassion to bring us together in a harmony rather than conflict.

I’m not talking politics… but notice how this fits in so beautifully with the Tao philosophy and the wisdom of the Dalai Lama.

When you consider writing your next post, take a moment to pause and reflect on whether this will  add to the Yang aspect of the world, or support the Yin. Will it bring us to more understanding and sense of balance?

We can all make a difference by choosing our response in relationship to others and these times.

This weekend I am teaching the first module of a Yin Yoga Teachers Training program at Hummingbird Yoga and Massage in Bryn Mawr. Just as in the world, I believe we need from Yin in our yoga practice and teaching.

May we all find inner harmony and bring more Yin into the world.

Namaste

Coming from Yin

Middle ground moment

I took this photo yesterday morning after breakfast, as Don was enjoying his coffee along with birdsong, rustles of the leaves and a slowly rising and warming sun. (If you zoom in, I’m sure you will see a contented smile on his face)

Finding our Middle Ground like this is essential for our whole being and balance.

Here’s an other perspective the Tao:

“Zen and Daoist philosophy often refers the art of doing and non-doing; specifically, the art of knowing when doing is required (yang) and when non-doing is required (yin). This is the greatest skill one can learn in the art of living life in balance.

The energy that arises in the moment from the deepest yin is a desire or impulse to ‘act’ (yang). Only right actions can come from this place. Further, right actions can only be the best and most supportive actions for the spiritual evolution of all beings. These can also be described as actions that cause no harm to others or oneself. They come like messages sent from the deepest place to call you into ‘doing’ or ‘thinking’ something in order to bring them into manifestation for the benefit of all. They come from a place of surrender, a place where you can let the mind become insignificant and, instead, focus your attention on the observation of sensations on the body and the space in which all things seem to occur.” *

When we take time to pause, it supports us in taking right action. Now that’s something to reflect and act upon.

Let us come from Yin.

 

 

* Hetherington, Michael. The Little Book of Yin: Cultivating More Stillness, Gentleness and Healing into Our Daily Lives (Kindle Locations 317-322). . Kindle Edition.

 

Let Life Be Like Yin Yoga

letting go in yin yoga

I am back from nine days of Yin Yoga teacher training and retreat at my beloved Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. It has been a time of learning, of support, of challenge and of exploration. It opened my body, mind, and yes … my heart 💛

Let life be like Yin Yoga – Lean into it.

The foundations of Yin Yoga are rooted in the Taoist tradition. It is about finding wholeness and harmony in tune with the constant flow of yin and yang in nature and in all beings. Yin is the stable, unmoving, feminine, receptive, cool and hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, mobile, masculine, hot and active aspect.

One cannot exist without the other.

Yoga in the west is Yang oriented, focusing on building strength, engaging muscles, movement and action.
Yin Yoga is the counterpart to this. It is a slow deep practice where poses are held for longer and the muscles relax. The deeper connective tissues of the body awaken, which allows for increased flexibility and prevents rigidity that comes with aging. The poses also stimulate the Chi and Prana energy in the body, allowing the practitioner to become calmer and more focused, and the body to be nourished.

It is a practice of paying attention, letting go, and developing the witness to whatever comes up in the physical body, mental body, emotions and breath.
By leaning in and surrendering to what is beyond resistance, the path to acceptance and peace opens up.

In this place of stillness, we meet ourselves and begin to understand how we deal with the pleasure and pain in our bodies and in life.

Each practice strengthens our entire being to allow for deep inquiry and acceptance. To find our Middle Ground.

Namaste

* Tao Inspiration – Push and Pull

 

push and pull

Photo from Pinterest

“The way of the universe is a symbiotic flow.
As one part pulls, another part pushes.
A part that has excess will lose. A part that is lacking will gain.

Presently, society acts against this flow.
Where there is abundance, there is power to acquire even more.
What is it when excess is freely offered, rather than accumulated?
It is the way of Tao.

The sage works without expectation of return:
Achieving without need for recognition,
Doing without dominating.” *

~ Lao Tzu

 

How relevant to society today. Yet the Tao te Ching dates back to the second century BC.
The wisdom is never ending as the universe continues to flow. May we find understanding in the balance of yin and yang in all things.

 

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 1015-1026). . Kindle Edition.

* Nature’s Rhythms

ocean at night

Source: Pinterest

“There is both in Nature and in ourselves, an indissoluble unity of body, mind and spirit. Within this unity, however, there is always the ceaseless interplay of Yin and Yang and the constant flow of the Five Elements in everything that we find around us. Both patterns exist together in Nature and are there for us to observe.

There is no mystery in this. When we watch the evening tide come in, we sometimes look at the shimmering brilliance of wave after wave tumbling in to the shore (yang energy) and at other times we are hypnotized by the gradual rise of the swell (yin energy). Both aspects are there together within the one moment, and a thousand other aspects if we could really see the full beauty of Nature’s rhythms.”

~ J.R. Worsley

I was entranced by this paragraph in Professor J R Worsley’s primer on Classical Five Element Acupuncture. I have regular acupuncture sessions with fellow yogi Kyle Williams in Media. Thank you Kyle for lending me the book to help me understand the Five Elements and the Officials in Acupuncture.

It has inspired me to learn more, and to explore the natural balance of Yin and Yang and the movement of energy through the body in the practice of Yoga…

Namaste